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Looking for a town to raise children
Old 06-10-2007, 10:58 AM   #1
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Looking for a town to raise children

I'm not sure that this is the right place to ask the question, but I am young and dreaming...

My wife and I have a 3.5 mo. old baby and live in Arlington, VA. We love Arlington, but to afford it we don't live in the best neighborhood. It was ok before we were parents, but the kids in the area aren't the type with which we want our children to grow up (staying out late and their parent's don't care, rude, seem to have a fondness for the idea of gangs)

We're looking for a nice town (on the east coast) with some perks of living near a city that's not in the middle of nowhere... Any suggestions?

I guess we'd like to live in a city without living in the city.
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Old 06-10-2007, 11:02 AM   #2
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We're looking for a nice town (on the east coast) with some perks of living near a city that's not in the middle of nowhere... Any suggestions?
I guess we'd like to live in a city without living in the city.
Edgewater? Crofton? Bowie? Eastern shore?

Sometimes it's easier to screen out what you don't want by using the "Yeah, but..." process and then choosing from what's left over.
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Old 06-10-2007, 12:07 PM   #3
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We're looking for a nice town (on the east coast) with some perks of living near a city that's not in the middle of nowhere... Any suggestions?

I guess we'd like to live in a city without living in the city.
I presume you know that such a place, when you find it, will almost certainly be very expensive?
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Old 06-10-2007, 01:32 PM   #4
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If you don't care about being on the coast and don't mind the midwest, Fishers, IN is right outside Indianapolis, and was voted 24th most desirable city to live & raise children.

Cost of living is great, access to great shopping and dining. We have the Indianapolis Colts. Winters aren't totally horrible. No ocean though we do have Indiana Beach
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Old 06-10-2007, 01:34 PM   #5
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I guess there are a lot of places that might work, but I see two things you will need to address: how much are you willing to spend and where do you have to be in order to work. You'll likely end up with a compromise in any case.

For example, there are lots of places in suburban NJ and around Philly that might work. But Jersey is likely to be pretty expensive (especially RE taxes and general cost of living), and Philly may not offer the kind of labor market access you require.

We ended up compromising a bit. We found a place in suburban Jersy that has costs we can deal with, and it is a doable (if a bit lengthy) to the finance jobs I typically would be looking at. The trade off is that the town's schools are so-so (we will do Catholic schools) and cost of living is a tad higher than I would like (I'd be shocked if my RE bill won't top $7k for my ho-hum 2000 sq ft house). But we get to live in a cul-de-sac on the edge of a lake with neighbors we count as friends and generally like. Kids play freely in the street and when a strange car enters the 'hood you can see all the adults' heads turn to keep half an eye on who it is. And the local police blotter has entries for DWIs at worst, mostly crowded out by nuisance crimes at the train station and people calling the cops because there is a squirrel "acting funny" in their driveway (a baby looking for its mother).
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Old 06-10-2007, 02:50 PM   #6
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... and people calling the cops because there is a squirrel "acting funny" in their driveway (a baby looking for its mother).
Sounds like something Don Knotts & Opie would end up investigating...
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Old 06-10-2007, 03:02 PM   #7
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Sounds like something Don Knotts & Opie would end up investigating...
Pretty much. That's why I mumble a bit about the property taxes, but I wouldn't consider moving while we have kids.
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Old 06-10-2007, 03:31 PM   #8
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No ocean though we do have Indiana Beach
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...and people calling the cops because there is a squirrel "acting funny" in their driveway...
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Old 06-10-2007, 05:34 PM   #9
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Might be useful as a jumping off point:

Neighboroo - Neighborhood Information for Real Estate and Marketing

Lets you check crime stats, cost of housing, education stuf and other salient stats. Seems to have some iffy data here and there and also seems to lump some areas together that arent really particularly similar.

The GUI is slick, and might help you weed through the areas you're looking in.
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Old 06-10-2007, 06:16 PM   #10
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Virtually anywhere in Connecticut (outside of the major cities) is great. If you need to work in NYC, you trade time for money. That is, to live closer to NYC and have a shorter commute, you pay more in housing costs. The trick is to find your own personal comfort point. My own commute is almost two hours to midtown Manhattan (by train), but I get to live in a large house on the water in a historic town with good schools.
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Old 06-11-2007, 11:31 AM   #11
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Come south! Justin lives in Raleigh, which is really nice, but think about some nice coastal NC and SC cities as well. Beaufort (NC and SC) are nice, Wilmington is great. I'd say Charleston, but I grew up here and didn't turn out all that well, so you'd have to take that into consideration...
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Ithaca?
Old 06-11-2007, 12:17 PM   #12
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Ithaca?

How about Ithaca, New York?

college town; great schools and lots of family-oriented activities; pretty landscape; cheap real estate; within striking distance of NYC should the urge to visit a real city hit..

on the downside, it does have cold winters, though.

If i ever move back to the East coast, I shall seriously consider Ithaca.

winnie
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Old 06-11-2007, 12:23 PM   #13
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How about Ithaca, New York?

college town; great schools and lots of family-oriented activities; pretty landscape; cheap real estate; within striking distance of NYC should the urge to visit a real city hit..

on the downside, it does have cold winters, though.

If i ever move back to the East coast, I shall seriously consider Ithaca.

winnie
Crappy winters and a lousy job market, but otherwise, I am with you. I like Oneonta for much the same reasons.
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Old 06-11-2007, 02:25 PM   #14
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My picks:

Burlington, VT
Bangor or Augusta, ME
Charlottesville, VA
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